Hawkeyes Offer Chicago Area Kicker

When you scan the list of offers that high major Division I football programs have out to prospects across the country, you are not going to find many punters with full ride opportunities. High majors like to find punters via the walk on route, recruit athletes who can also punt, or the rarity of an excellent place kicker and punter. In the case of 6-foot-3, 180-pound Ryan Donahue of St. Rita (Chicago), he is the rarity, and he just picked up an offer from the University of Iowa...

When you scan the list of offers that high major Division I football programs have out to prospects across the country, you are not going to find many punters with full ride opportunities. In the 85-scholarship limit era, schools will find more punters via the walk on route than they will otherwise, or they will recruit athletes who can also punt, or the rarity of an excellent place kicker and punter. In the case of 6-foot-3, 180-pound Ryan Donahue of St. Rita (Chicago), he is the rarity, and he just picked up an offer from the University of Iowa...

With offers already in tow from Akron, Ball State and Bowling Green, Donahue tacked on his first offer from a major college program when the Iowa Hawkeyes sent him an invitation to join their football program early this week.

"I honestly had no idea a year ago that I'd be getting this kind of attention," Donahue said. "Punters and kickers usually don't get noticed until late in the recruiting season. I feel blessed and extremely lucky that my talents are getting noticed so early."

Donahue has a very strong leg and connected on a 55-yard field goal during his junior year.

"My coach told me he's going to let me go after the (Illinois) state record next year," Donahue told Scout.com back in early June. "The record is 59-yards and its held by Nick Setta, one of the best kickers in the history of the state. I'm hoping for a couple of shots at that record."

Donahue, who plans on committing before or during the 2005 football season, was able to experience Iowa City during the month of June and it made quite an impact.

"I loved it at Iowa's camp. I loved the coaches, the facilities and the people. The coaches at Iowa showed me a lot of punting and kicking pointers. Iowa has definitely set the bar very high." Donahue said.

What is even more intriguing about Donahue's getting such an early offer from the defending Big Ten Co-Champs is that Iowa does not have numerous scholarships to award this year. It is believed they will take anywhere between 14 to 17 prospects in the recruiting class of 2006.

Kyle Schlicher, Iowa's current place kicker, is one of the best returning kickers in the nation. He will be a senior in 2006. John Gallery (senior to be) and Andy Fenstermaker (junior to be) will challenge one another for the punting duties in 2005, with Fenstermaker having a shot to be Iowa's punter for perhaps the next two seasons.

All of that means that Donahue would have a chance to redshirt during his freshman year at Iowa and challenge for both the punter and kicker position in 2007, when he would be a redshirt freshman and having had the opportunity to learn one or both positions from a veteran performer.

"Iowa, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Akron, Bowling Green, Ball State and Tennessee are my favorites." Donahue said.


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